Varenyky – A National Food of Ukraine

What is it?

Varenyky is a Ukrainian dumpling that has a lot of options when it comes to its fillings. The most common fillings for Varenyky are meat (usually chicken), potatoes, or cottage cheese. Varenyky is also commonly served with some condiments on the side to dip in, like sour cream. No matter the filling, Varenyky is great for appetizers, the main course, or even dessert!

A Ukrainian Icon

Varenyky has been made in Ukraine for hundreds of years, and like many other dumplings, the Ukrainians borrowed from the cuisines of other cultures in order to create this unique dumpling. Not only is Varenyky delicious, but back in the medieval ages, it was also considered to be a good luck charm to the peasants of Ukraine. They would carry Varenyky with them to bring good luck and they would give pregnant women some Varenyky to ensure a safe pregnancy. In fact, Varenyky is such a big part of Ukrainian history and culture that a monument to Varenyky was created in 2006! 

Recipes

Varenyky is a dumpling so it will take a few hours to prepare everything. Here’s a simple recipe that includes instructions for making the dough, a traditional potato filling, and then cooking the Varenyky until they’re ready. Ingredients for Varenyky include common household items like flour, potatoes, and cheddar cheese, but be sure to refer to the recipe for all the necessary ingredients. The recipes for other traditional fillings such as a chicken or cottage cheese filling are available here

Variations of Varenyky

Most variations of Varenyky involve using a different filling but some also include adding toppings to the Varenyky or using a different condiment. Alternative fillings you can try include a sauerkraut filling or a sweet potato filling. If you want to eat Varenyky as a dessert, you can simply use a sweet filling such as a blueberry filling instead. For toppings, putting diced bacon on top of cooked Varenyky is a tasty and easy variation to try.